Canada has been at the top of my travel list for too long now. Both S and I are itching to go, but we know when we do go, we will be staying out there for at least a month. Our friends have just got back from a holiday there and it’s got us thinking seriously about planning our big trip!
Canada is also known as the Great White North, in relation to its swathes of unending arctic terrain and the propensity for snow. But this isn’t very good to most people, apart from perhaps ice fishers and polar bear trackers, so what else is there for a nature lover?
Well, one thing probably stands out head and shoulders above the rest (not mentioning it just yet as we’re dedicating a paragraph to it in a moment, hold your horses), but there are in fact a wide range of different natural attractions in the second largest country in the world.
The Canadian Rockies
This awesome mountain range stretches for so long that it’s home to not one, not two, but five national parks! You can really see where the continental plates crashed together here; it’s a testament to the power of nature.
As for things to do, the obvious would be hiking, but there’s also skiing, snowboarding and even fishing, so there’s no chance of you getting bored.
Yep, this is the big one, probably the most popular natural attraction in all of Canada, and one of the most widely-known natural wonders of the world. You’ll find the three glorious waterfalls in Ontario, flowing across the border to New York State.
The only way to truly experience their breath-taking majesty is by seeing them from the deck of the Maid of the Mist, the local ferry boat which takes you out to the bottom of the falls. Prepare to get wet!
The fifth largest island in the world, Baffin Island is known as Oikiqtaaluk to the local Inuit peoples, and you’ll find it dropped neatly between Canada and Greenland. It was called Helluland by the Norse, and featured heavily in their mythical sagas.
One of the larger cliffs is called Mount Thor, while the highest peak is called Mount Odin, playing up the Norse connection; it is these that Baffin is famous for – they make great jumping-off points for BASE jumpers.
The wildlife is amazing, too – you can find polar bears, Arctic foxes, lemming, Arctic hares, ringed seals, snowy owls and even the Baffin Island wolf!
The Northern Lights
Also known as the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights are one of the most incredible, awe-inspiring sights you will ever see. The true beauty of nature shines through in this brilliantly beautiful phenomenon of a light show.
Gases in the atmosphere collide to create this intense display of lights, which change colour from red, to green, to blue, to white, depending on how far north you travel.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Head east from Calgary and you’ll find this amazing National Park. The park itself is picturesque, covering all sorts of natural formations like spires, ridges and pinnacles, making it the Canadian equivalent of Yellowstone. Cameras don’t do it justice.
As you might have guessed from its name, Dinosaur Provincial Park is home to many thousands of dinosaur fossils, making it a haven for palaeontologists everywhere. Sure, you can camp out under the stars, but that pales in comparison to taking part in an actual dino dig!